A WWII vet hadn’t touched a guitar in 40 years. A gift let it all come back to him.

MEQUON – “When was the last time you strummed, David? When was the last time you held a guitar in your arms?”

“When was the last time you went to the bathroom?” David snapped back sarcastically, a honey-colored Yamaha acoustic resting on his thigh.

It had been 40 years since David McMahon, a 92-year-old Navy veteran, last played guitar. But to him, the music never really went away.

On Friday, he was given the new Yamaha guitar from Patrick Nettesheim, founder of Guitars for Vets. Normally, veterans in the program have to sign up for lessons before getting their own guitar. But McMahon’s case was different — he was never a pro, but could play like one in his prime. 

His friend Judy Schwerm knew it had been decades since he last played. So when McMahon excitedly showed her a story about Guitars for Vets in the Tuesday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Schwerm knew she had to do something.

RELATED: Milwaukee-based Guitars for Vets helps veterans across the country stay mentally in tune

She contacted Nettesheim and said they needed a guitar.  

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